Woburn Abbey Today

Your Guide to Woburn Abbey

Woburn Abbey first opened to the public in 1955 and has welcomed visitors from all over the globe. There are 22 rooms that you can experience, which house one of the most significant private art collections in the world.

As you explore the many individual rooms of Woburn Abbey, you will also discover 18th-century French and English furniture, magnificent silver and gold collections, in the underground vaults, and a marvellous range of porcelain and many privately collected items treasured by generations of the Russell family.

These captivating rooms and fascinating antiques show a personal side to a public family that has been instrumental in many significant periods of English history.  


Image for Woburn Abbey Today The 15th Duke and Duchess of Bedford

400 years of history

The Abbey has been the home of the Earls and Dukes of Bedford, one of England's most powerful families, since the 1620s. It is currently the home of the 15th Duke and Duchess of Bedford and their children. Russell family members have included Prime Ministers, Ambassadors, Lord High Admirals and philosophers over the centuries and provide a direct link to the events of the past that shaped the England of today. 

> Our Family Tree


Image for Woburn Abbey Today One of our views of Venice by Canaletto

Over 250 works of art

View one of the most outstanding collections of art works on public display. These include:

  • The largest private collection of Venetian views painted by Canaletto on public view
  • The Armada Portrait of Queen Elizabeth I
  • Artists such as Gainsborough, Rembrandt, Reynolds, and Van Dyck
  • Artworks by Queen Victoria and Richard Stone

> Art and the Collection


Image for Woburn Abbey Today The Grotto

22 Rooms To Discover

The splendid rooms include:

  • The unique Grotto which dates from the 1630s
  • The State Apartments with original 18th-century architecture
  • The Holland Library which is one of the largest private libraries with an extensive collection of natural history books
  • Underground vaults housing the family's gold and silver collection
  • The Chinese Room with its decorative wallpaper

> Must See Treasures


Image for Woburn Abbey Today Woburn Abbey is an example of Palladian architecture

At The Heart of an English Palladian Home

The Abbey has been at the centre of social and political history which includes tales of political reform, Royal State visits, imprisonment, beheading, grand tours, love affairs and more. Famous house guests have included monarchs, politicians, leading naturalists, famous designers, architects and adventurers. 

> Our Timeline


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Events & Exhibitions

Image for Woburn Abbey Venison for Sale

Woburn Abbey Venison for Sale

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From November 2016 until February 2017 The Duke of Bedford is once again offering the opportunity for you to buy venison of the highest quality directly from Woburn Deer Park. The deer roam freely over 3,000 acres of mixed traditional park land, enjoying a stress-free life and are primarily grass-fed.
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The Woburn Estate Wedding Fair

Visit a wide variety of pop up wedding shops in the period Antique Quarter of Woburn Abbey's Sculpture Gallery.
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Bach to the Future

We are delighted to welcome the return of the Altamira Chamber Orchestra to The Sculpture Gallery to perform a selection of Bach's most popular pieces.
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Mothering Sunday at The Sculpture Gallery

Celebrate Mothering Sunday at The Sculpture Gallery with a bespoke afternoon tea followed by a private guided tour of Woburn Abbey Gardens.
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Spring Gardening Skills

Let the Woburn Abbey Gardens Team give you the confidence to tackle essential jobs in your own garden with this seasonal session.
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Easter Flowers with Jonathan Moseley

A masterclass in Easter flower-arranging with floral expert, Jonathan Moseley.
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Carriage Tours April

An exciting experience back by popular demand, enjoy a tour in a historic Landau Carriage around the grounds and gardens.
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Parkland Tour - April

Come along on a tour around our beautiful deer park, and experience it as Humphry Repton intended.
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Humphry Repton Study Day

Take an in-depth look at the career of Humphry Repton and what made him such a remarkable landscape gardener.
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Carriage Tours May

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Extra dates added due to popular demand! An exciting experience, enjoy a tour in a historic Landau Carriage.
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Woburn Abbey Gardens Tour and Lunch

Enjoy the splendour of the Woburn Abbey Gardens through the seasons with our 2017 private garden tour and lunch at The Sculpture Gallery.
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Kitchen Gardening

Learn a variety of skills to take away and use in your own Kitchen Garden.
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The Magic of Opera

Internationally renowned Bjorn Dobbelaere to conduct a 21 piece orchestra, whilst Bridget Costello and Marcus Liljedahl will perform a selection of the most popular arias and duets.
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Wedding Flowers with Jonathan Moseley

A masterclass in wedding flower-arranging with floral expert, Jonathan Moseley.
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Parkland Tour - May

Come along on a tour around our beautiful deer park, and experience it as Humphry Repton intended.
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Teddy Bear Festival

Leading collectors, experts and the top names in the industry will be bringing along a fine selection of rare and famous teddy bears. There will be antique artist and modern bears for you to browse and buy.
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Woburn Abbey Garden Show 2017

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After the huge success of the 2016 Garden Show this June we are pleased to announce that tickets can now be purchased for the 8th Woburn Abbey Garden Show taking place on 24th and 25th June 2017. Set against the stunning backdrop of Woburn Abbey, ‘The Gardener’s Garden Show’ offers visitors the best location of any show in the UK, taking place within the 42 acres of Abbey Gardens.
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Introduction to Garden Photography

A great opportunity to learn the basics of digital photography
Image for Woburn Abbey Gardens Tour and Lunch 13th July

Woburn Abbey Gardens Tour and Lunch 13th July

Enjoy the splendour of the Woburn Abbey Gardens through the seasons with our 2017 private garden tour and lunch at The Sculpture Gallery.
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Bee Walk

Discover the importance of attracting bees to your garden and, more importantly, how to attract them.
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Garden Safari Week - July

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Calling all Garden Explorers! Come and join us on our Garden Safari this summer holiday.
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Parkland Tour - July

Come along on a tour around our beautiful deer park, and experience it as Humphry Repton intended.
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Garden Safari Week - August

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Calling all Garden Explorers! Come and join us on our Garden Safari this summer holiday.
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Parkland Tour - August

Come along on a tour around our beautiful deer park, and experience it as Humphry Repton intended.
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Bat Walks

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Take an exclusive tour of the Woburn Abbey Gardens at night and learn about the nocturnal activities of the bats living in the gardens.
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Bat Walks

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Take an exclusive tour of the Woburn Abbey Gardens at night and learn about the nocturnal activities of the bats living in the gardens.
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Pruning Study Day

This session is designed to give you a wide range of pruning skills and enable you to get hands on with plant material to gain the confidence with your own garden maintenance.
Image for Carriage Tours October

Carriage Tours October

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An exciting experience, enjoy a tour in a historic Landau Carriage around the grounds and gardens of Woburn Abbey.
Image for Christmas Flowers with Jonathan Moseley

Christmas Flowers with Jonathan Moseley

A masterclass in Christmas flower-arranging with floral expert, Jonathan Moseley.